Does Your Malpractice Policy Provide Adequate Coverage?

As an established physician, you’ve likely had to navigate the complex world of malpractice insurance more than once. You’ve seen the landscape change, premiums fluctuate, and policy terms evolve. But as you continue working diligently to build your reputation and practice, one question tends to come up time and again: Does your current malpractice policy provide the right coverage for your needs?

Understanding Your Malpractice Insurance Policy

Here are some key steps to help you determine if you have the right coverage:

  • Review your current malpractice policy to ensure it aligns with your financial risk and covers all services you offer.
  • Tailor your policy to fit your specific medical specialty and be aware of consent-to-settle clauses.
  • Stay informed about changes in healthcare legislation, technology, and patient expectations as they can affect your risk profile.
  • Be proactive in managing your risk.
  • Seek professional guidance when choosing your malpractice insurance.

Understanding the breadth and depth of your policy is crucial. It’s not just about having a policy in place, but having the right policy in place. Protecting your practice is worth every effort, and ensuring your malpractice policy provides adequate coverage is a key component of that.

Key Elements of Adequate Coverage

Remember, the cheapest policy isn’t always the best. It’s about finding the right balance between cost and coverage. With the expertise and almost-universal access of Cunningham Group, you can confidently make an informed decision about your malpractice insurance coverage.

It’s important to look closely at items such as the limits of liability, which are usually represented as two amounts. The first number indicates the maximum amount your insurer will pay for a single claim, and the second represents the total payout for all claims within a policy period. Ensure these limits align with the financial risk you are willing to bear in the event of a lawsuit.

What to Consider When Evaluating Your Malpractice Insurance Coverage

Start by reviewing your current policy. It’s crucial to consider not only the scope of coverage but also its cost and how it fits into your practice’s budget. Here are a few key factors to consider:

  1. Price comparison: Don’t just accept the first quote you receive. With Cunningham Group, you have the advantage of comparing offers from every major medical malpractice insurance company in every state. This lets you ensure you’re getting the best coverage at the most affordable premium.
  2. Budget impact: Consider how the cost of the insurance premium fits into your overall budget. While it’s essential to have comprehensive coverage, you also need to balance this with your practice’s financial health. Cunningham Group’s team can help you navigate this delicate balance, ensuring you get the best possible coverage without straining your finances.
  3. Coverage scope: Look beyond the price tag and examine what the policy covers. Does it include all the services you offer? Does it cover all your locations? Are there any exclusions you should be aware of? Cunningham Group’s experienced agents can help you assess these details.
  4. Risk management discounts: Many insurers offer discounts for practices that implement robust risk management measures. Cunningham Group’s team can help you identify these opportunities and leverage them to reduce your premium costs.
  5. Consent-to-settle clause: This is an important feature that gives you control over whether a claim against you is settled. Be sure to check if your policy includes this clause.

The Risks of Inadequate Malpractice Coverage

Inadequate malpractice insurance coverage can pose significant risks for medical professionals. Here are some potential consequences and issues that can arise from having insufficient coverage:

  1. Financial Instability: If a claim exceeds your policy limit, you’ll be responsible for paying the remaining amount out-of-pocket. This could potentially lead to financial instability or even bankruptcy.
  2. Reputation Damage: A malpractice lawsuit can have a profound impact on a medical professional’s reputation. If you lack adequate coverage, you might not have access to the resources needed to defend your practice effectively.
  3. License Risk: In some cases, a malpractice lawsuit could result in disciplinary action from medical boards, including the suspension or loss of your medical license.
  4. Example – High Settlement Costs: Consider a surgeon who is sued for malpractice after a patient suffers complications from surgery. If the surgeon only has a $1 million policy but the jury awards the patient $2 million, the surgeon would be personally responsible for the additional $1 million. This could put a huge strain on their personal finances and the financial health of their practice.
  5. Example – Defense Costs: Even if you’re not found liable, the cost of defending yourself in court can be substantial. Proper coverage includes defense costs, so without adequate insurance, these expenses could come directly out of your pocket.
  6. Example – Policy Exclusions: Let’s say a psychiatrist provides telehealth services but their malpractice policy doesn’t cover telemedicine. If a patient files a lawsuit relating to a telehealth session, the psychiatrist could be left without coverage, facing significant financial and professional consequences.

Having sufficient malpractice insurance coverage is essential for protecting your practice, your finances, and your reputation. While it may seem like an area where you could cut costs, the risks of inadequate coverage far outweigh the potential savings. Always ensure your policy aligns with your practice’s needs and the potential risks you face in your specific medical specialty.

Tailoring and Enhancing Your Policy for Your Needs

As a doctor, you understand that medicine isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor – and neither is malpractice insurance. Your specialty may carry unique risks, and your policy should reflect that. An obstetrician will face different potential liabilities than a general practitioner or a surgeon. Ensure your policy includes specific coverage for your area of expertise.

Also, consider your policy’s consent-to-settle clause. This provision allows you to have a say in whether to agree to a settlement in a malpractice lawsuit. Some policies include a “hammer clause” that limits the insurer’s liability if you refuse to consent to a settlement they recommend, so be aware of this potential financial risk.

And don’t forget to account for the current state of your practice. Are all your services covered? Many doctors and physicians will expand their services over time, so it’s crucial to make sure your policy has kept pace to take into account this growth. For example, if you’ve started offering telemedicine consultations or expanded into aesthetic treatments, you’ll want to confirm that your policy doesn’t exclude these services.

Staying Informed and Proactive

The medical field evolves quickly, and malpractice insurance needs to keep up. Stay informed about changes in healthcare legislation, technology, and patient expectations, as these can all affect your risk profile. Working with Cunningham Group can help you stay ahead of these changes since our team of medical malpractice insurance agents not only has access to every major medical malpractice insurance company in every state, but we also have our finger on the pulse of the industry, helping you to anticipate changes and adapt your coverage accordingly.

Be proactive in managing your risk. Implementing robust risk management practices can prevent incidents that lead to claims. Many insurers offer discounts for practices that take steps to reduce risk, such as regular staff training and patient safety initiatives. Cunningham Group’s knowledge and broad access to insurers can help you find and leverage these opportunities.

Seek Professional Malpractice Insurance Guidance

Even the most experienced physicians can benefit from professional advice when it comes to malpractice insurance. An insurance advisor like Cunningham Group can help you assess your coverage needs, navigate the complexities of policy terms, and find the best deal among many competing insurers. Cunningham Group’s almost-universal access to medical malpractice insurance companies allows us to shop your coverage among every available company and this competition results in the best coverage at the most affordable premium for you. 

Don’t let the complexities of malpractice insurance overwhelm you. Review, reassess, and reach out for professional guidance when needed. After all, protecting your practice is worth every effort and with the Cunningham Group, you’re not just getting an agent; you’re getting an advocate.

Request your free medical malpractice insurance quote and learn why thousands of doctors from all 50 states work with us as their trusted medical malpractice insurance resource.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You may also like

Legislative panel approves medical malpractice bill
Read more
Urgent-care centers: Illinois numbers grow as time-pressed families seek low-cost option to ERs
Read more
Global Center for Medical Innovation launches
Read more

Recent Posts

Understanding Exclusions in Your Medical Malpractice Insurance

Medical Malpractice Insurance Tips: Risk Management and Ongoing Support

Policy Limits in Medical Malpractice Insurance: A Doctor’s Guide

Popular Posts

PIAA 2017: Current Trends & Future Concerns

2022 Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates: What the data tells us

Urgent-care centers: Illinois numbers grow as time-pressed families seek low-cost option to ERs

Start Your Custom Quote Process™

Request a free quote